Ryder Cup participants arrived yesterday at Gleneagles in Scotland to begin their preparation for one of golf’s most exciting events. In the past, Team Europe has gotten the better of Team USA and in 2012 they staged a comeback for the ages. Not only did they destroy the Americans in Sunday matches but they did it on American soil. This Ryder Cup will only be harder for Team USA.
First, playing on foreign soil is always a disadvantage not to mention at a course where most of Team Europe has had success in the past. Second, Team USA has not had the greatest of seasons, as a whole. Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan, Jordan Spieth, Webb Simpson, Patrick Reed, and Jimmy Walker are all coming off of a cold second half of the season. That means half of our team will be struggling to earn points against a team full of Europeans at the top of their games. Lastly, the weather in Europe is always unpredictable which American golfers are not accustomed to whereas the Europeans grew up learning the game in these conditions.
One unique aspect of The Ryder Cup is the fans. They come out painted, dressed up and ready to chant obnoxious cheers at the opposing team. This is the only venue where you will see players screaming and fist pumping for a five-foot putt. No other golf tournament will you see players storm the green to congratulate their peers as they do for The Ryder Cup. It is an interesting blend of patriotism, competitiveness and sportsmanship that isn’t seen anywhere else in sport.
As far as predictions go, my best guess is that Europe has the best shot and retaining the cup this time around purely because of the the shape of their game currently. One thing that Team USA has on their side is youth and passionate personalities. Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth and Keegan Bradley are all potential Ryder Cup stars due to their fiery characters that could easily get under the skin of Team Europe.
Team USA will definitely need some luck and some good bounces to bring The Ryder Cup back with them but it is possible. I can assure there will be some heated matches and great pairings to fuel those matches. If you haven’t watched a Ryder Cup, give it a shot because it won’t be like any other golf tournament you have seen. By the end of the weekend, I guarantee you will out of your seats shouting at the television!